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Extremely Rare Late Ming-Early Qing Dynasty, late 16th-mid 17th C. Brigandine Dingjia Armor Set, Emperor Shunzhi Period 1644-1661

( ID: ca1043 )

An exceptionally rare and early Chinese armor with armored plates called a brigandine armor.  This example is similar to an example in the Horniman Museum in the United Kingdom which is dated to the period of Emperor Shunzhi, 1644-1661. Another example in the Beijing Police Museum is dated to the Ming period.  This example is more complete than either and we are comfortable giving it an early dating based on these two museum collections.

Chinese armour consisting of a brigandine, an armpit guard, a chainmail hand covering, two shoulder guards and a later apron. The body of the brigandine has a central front opening secured with five metal toggle-loop buttons, slit sides, and four leather ties round the collar. The brigandine is of indigo cotton with a black velvet border, lined with pale blue cotton, and with lining of rectangular iron plates riveted on the inside. The armpit guard are in cloud collar shape of indigo cotton edged with black velvet, with iron plates under a pale blue cotton lining. Each arm guard is sewn to the back of the brigandine and has two metal toggle-loop buttons and two cotton ties to fasten to the brigandine. The front and back of the brigandine are decorated similarly with the upper chest decorated with a four-clawed dragon chasing a flaming pearl rising above mountain rocks and waves. Underneath the chest is a lotus and another type of flower with a yin-yang symbol at the centre amidst leafy scrolling. Above the hem are four roundels of baoxianghua designs in stylised lotus flowers with features of peonies. The armpit guard are decorated with a stylised floral design and the rectangular shoulder guards are likewise sewn with iron plates within.

A helmet with similar decoration on the back and ear flaps is now in a private collection and was marked in Chinese characters " A Glorious Straight Red Banner Niru Blue Armor," possibly an indication of the rank of the former owner of this armor as well.

For another similar example see Fig. 75 (3, 5 & 6) pp. 57-58, Stone, George C. (1934), 'A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times', Portland, Maine: The Southworth Press.

 

 

Photo #1 of Extremely Rare Late Ming-Early Qing Dynasty, late 16th-mid 17th C. Brigandine Dingjia Armor Set, Emperor Shunzhi Period 1644-1661
Photo #2 of Extremely Rare Late Ming-Early Qing Dynasty, late 16th-mid 17th C. Brigandine Dingjia Armor Set, Emperor Shunzhi Period 1644-1661
Photo #3 of Extremely Rare Late Ming-Early Qing Dynasty, late 16th-mid 17th C. Brigandine Dingjia Armor Set, Emperor Shunzhi Period 1644-1661
Photo #4 of Extremely Rare Late Ming-Early Qing Dynasty, late 16th-mid 17th C. Brigandine Dingjia Armor Set, Emperor Shunzhi Period 1644-1661
Photo #5 of Extremely Rare Late Ming-Early Qing Dynasty, late 16th-mid 17th C. Brigandine Dingjia Armor Set, Emperor Shunzhi Period 1644-1661
Photo #6 of Extremely Rare Late Ming-Early Qing Dynasty, late 16th-mid 17th C. Brigandine Dingjia Armor Set, Emperor Shunzhi Period 1644-1661
Photo #7 of Extremely Rare Late Ming-Early Qing Dynasty, late 16th-mid 17th C. Brigandine Dingjia Armor Set, Emperor Shunzhi Period 1644-1661
Photo #8 of Extremely Rare Late Ming-Early Qing Dynasty, late 16th-mid 17th C. Brigandine Dingjia Armor Set, Emperor Shunzhi Period 1644-1661
Photo #9 of Extremely Rare Late Ming-Early Qing Dynasty, late 16th-mid 17th C. Brigandine Dingjia Armor Set, Emperor Shunzhi Period 1644-1661
Photo #10 of Extremely Rare Late Ming-Early Qing Dynasty, late 16th-mid 17th C. Brigandine Dingjia Armor Set, Emperor Shunzhi Period 1644-1661
Photo #11 of Extremely Rare Late Ming-Early Qing Dynasty, late 16th-mid 17th C. Brigandine Dingjia Armor Set, Emperor Shunzhi Period 1644-1661